Ad Campaigns for NASCAR, Fruit of the Loom & Dove Men+Care Remind Us that Dads Matter


ADOTAS — Call them the jokesters, the motivators, the ones in life you can depend on. With Father’s Day just around the corner, advertisers want us to remember just how important dads are in shaping the lives of their children. New campaigns for NASCAR, Fruit of the Loom and Dove Men+Care aim to break down the patriarchal family stereotypes and shine a light on men as the primary caretakers at home.

According to Pew Research, 2 million fathers who live with a child younger than 18 do not work outside of the home. In the United States a rising number of stay-at-home dads are taking on more and more responsibilities traditionally attributed to moms, with 21 percent saying the main reason they are home is to care for their home and family – a fourfold increase from 1989, when only 5 percent of stay-at-home fathers said they were home primarily to care for family.

To reach this rising demographic, casual apparel manufacturer Fruit of the Loom is using animated humor to appeal to dads (and families) this year, launching an animated GIF campaign with Crispin Porter + Bogusky that’s a play on the concept of those “good for one” paper coupon books that kids gave their parents made from ripped out sheets from spiral-bound notebooks.

“The use of GIFs brought a modern twist to the reward cards kids have given their mom or dad for ‘extra help around the house’ or to ‘clean up my room,’” said Matt Fischvogt, vp/creative director at CP+B. “These have always been on static cards. GIFs bring these cards to life and allow them to be shared socially in a modern way.”

The “Father’s Day GIF Registry” website lets people send their dads interactive animated GIF coupons that the guys can redeem for an “All Day Undie” pass, a “Bacon in Bed” pass or a “King of the Grill” pass. Pretty ingenious. At left is a clip of one of the hilarious animations.

To highlight the bond between father and son, NASCAR recently launched its “NASCAR With Dad” promotion, a social media=fueled campaign that encourages people to share their NASCAR memories online, giving one lucky father and son a chance to ride in the Goodyear Blimp together on Ford Championship Weekend.

“We are all about lineage — fathers and sons, grandfathers,” said Matt Shulman, NASCAR’s managing director of marketing platforms, in an interview conducted by Adweek.  “It makes absolute sense for us to put a stake in the ground and own Father’s Day for our fans and our brand.”

A digital campaign called “Calls for Dad” by Dove Men+Care aims to show the softer side of fatherhood by portraying men in the role of primary caregivers – changing diapers, cooking meals and spending quality time with their loved ones. The 30-second ad spot went live today on and shows 28 dads doing their part to encourage their kids throughout life.

“Three-quarters of dads say they are responsible for their child’s emotional well-being,” said Rob Candelino, GM/VP Marketing – Skincare at Unilever. “But only 20 percent see that in media.”


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